Washington Nationals at Giants Series Preview (7/28-7/31)
By Ricky Keeler
TBA vs. Jake Peavy (5-9, 5.42) – 4:05 p,m, MASN2/FOX Sports 1
With Joe Ross only throwing 43 pitches in his first rehab start, it is unlikely he would get the opportunity to pitch in this game. Since Lucas Giolito was sent down to triple-A, the most likely starter for this game would be Reynaldo Lopez.
The 22-year-old right-hander made his Major League debut on July 19 against the Dodgers. He went 4.2 innings, gave up six runs on ten hits, struck out nine, and walked one in a loss. While he had his struggles early against a veteran lineup, he did show some flashes with his fastball and breaking ball.
Lopez’s last professional start was on July 24 for triple-A Syracuse against Rochester (Minnesota Twins). He threw a complete game four-hit shutout and struck out seven for his second win of the year. At triple-A, he is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA with both wins against Rochester.
The rookie will get to go up against a former Cy Young award winner in Peavy. Peavy gave up three home runs in his last start against the Reds on July 25. In that game, he went five innings, gave up six runs on four hits, struck out five, and walked two in a loss.
Over his last five starts, Peavy has only pitched past the fifth inning twice. Despite having a 5.32 ERA in four starts this month, opponents are hitting only .221 (lowest in any month). The 35-year-old right-hander doesn’t have the same velocity on his fastball as he used to. According to Fangraphs, the average velocity on his fastball is about 89 miles per hour.
Peavy is 5-6 with a 4.07 ERA in 14 games (13 starts) against the Washington Nationals in his career. Jayson Werth is 4-for-18 in his career against Peavy with a home run and three RBI’s.
Prediction: If Lopez makes that start, the one trend between his starts and Giolito’s is that none of them seem to finish five innings. With the way the bullpen has pitched lately, it’s tough to trust them if it becomes a battle of the bullpens. For this game, I will take Peavy and the Giants.
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